provided to Santiva Chronicle
The Sanibel School is back in session with students adjusting to some changes to their learning environment, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. To add a little excitement to this non-traditional school year, the Parent Teacher Association, school leaders, and teachers helped kick it off last week with a non-traditional event.
The school’s parking lot played host to a “Drive-Thru Pep Rally” on Wednesday, Aug. 26, aimed at getting students and their families excited for the return to the classroom. An idea turned reality by parent Liz Abbott.
More than 100 cars lined up and rolled through the rally, making several socially-distanced stops along the way. Students received a warm welcome from newly-promoted Principal Jamie Reid and new assistant principal Jennifer Lusk. Dozens of teachers and school staff members lined the route to welcome the students back to the school for the first time since March.
Treats were distributed – breakfast sandwiches generously provided by a Sanibel School family, and Organic Hawaiian Shave Ice from the crew at Joey’s Custard. School shirts were sold, Rec Center after-school program applications were accepted, and food donations for the pantry at F.I.S.H. were collected.
Perhaps the highlight of the day was the car decorating contest. About half the families who attended the rally decorated their cars with themes ranging from back-to-school to beach scenes, covered in everything from rainbows to ribbons.
The winner of the contest – the Schafer family – won the grand prize, an amazing cruise for four to Cabbage Key, donated by Sanibel School families the Randos & Junghans at Captiva Cruises.
The Sanibel School has been shut down since Spring Break last March, when the School District of Lee County transitioned students into a remote learning program when lockdown orders were issued.
School leaders expected about two-thirds of its enrollment – about 180 students – to be back in class for face-to-face learning on the first day Monday. Those students arrived to find new safety protocols in place, aimed to keep all students and faculty safe and healthy.
The other third of the school’s students opted for one of three home study options offered by the School District.